Part 2 of a 3 part Blog Series on 1 Peter 1:3-9
Read part one here.
Your pain is valid.
Whatever is is that you are feeling, it is valid. God is not surprised when you are hurting, He is sovereign so just as He sees your pain, he warned us that trials would come and he allowed it to happen.
1 Peter 1:6-7, “In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials so that the tested genuineness of your faith – more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire – may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Peter speaks of the trials we face and of our faith that is refined in these fires we walk. I know for certain that my faith in Christ is stronger because of the trials I’ve faced.
You won’t recognize the brightness of the sun if you’ve never wandered through the darkness.
In the book of Exodus, the Israelites wandered through the wilderness for 40 years before they made it to the other side for Joshua to take them through to the Promised Land. When the crossed the Jordan River, Joshua instructed them to lay down an ebenezer, a stone of remembrance, one for each of the 12 tribes, so that for generations to come, all who came upon these stones will be reminded of all that God had done for the Israelites.
I’ve written this to you before but I feel it important to say it again. I was always told growing up that “God will not give you more than you can handle” and I need you to hear me when I say that that is not true. It’s a down right lie. God allows us to endure trials that are much more than we can handle. He does that so that we are drawn closer to Him, to refine our faith, to teach us to cast all our worries at the feet of Jesus, to depend on His strength and not our own, and to recognize that He is in control!
When my friend said, “I know that my problems are nothing compared to others but it still hurts.”, I realized just how common it is for us to feel this way. We think to ourselves, “There are people who are without a home and are going to bed on a cold street tonight hungry, my problems are not that big of a deal, I can handle it, I’ll get over it.” and we don’t deal with our pain. Is it true that others are hurting in ways that are different and seem more dire that what we are facing and maybe they are? But the pain that you are feeling is real and it’s valid and it needs to be worked through.
A few weeks ago, I was dealing with some pain that I wasn’t sure how to work through it. It happened at church, my feelings had been hurt and it was keeping me from wanting to go to our church for a few weeks. I sat with my friend Anna one day and shared this all with her and the most beautiful thing happened. She listened. She validated my pain but acknowledging that those situations are painful. And after all that was said and we had changed the subject a couple dozen times, she said something in a completely different context that opened my eyes in a new way.
She said, “I believe that sometimes God allows certain painful situations to happen so that you can be a part of the solution and help make sure that doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
God spoke to my heart right there as I sat in her recliner and Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians came to mind.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.” -2Corinthians 1:3-7
Sisters, we are not alone in our suffering. Jesus suffered and it is by that suffering that we have grace and can rejoice in our salvation. Recognize your pain and your brokenness, seek the God of all comfort and allow Him to heal your pain.